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Veteran's mental health may take larger toll than most during pandemic

While many physical resources have been temporarily stopped because of coronavirus, Baylor Scott & White offers virtual visits to veterans and their family.

BRYAN, Texas — During these unprecedented times, health experts have been focusing more on people’s mental health. 

COVID-19 has been taxing to the entire nation and local health experts say it is hitting veterans especially hard. 

“The fact that the coronavirus is an unknown is particularly threatening for veterans who have been in transition to being at home, and have expected that there wouldn’t be unknown threats in the environment. And now where we don’t really understand the course of this illness. We don’t know where it might be lurking. That is very, very hard for veterans to cope with," said Baylor Scott & White Warriors Research Institute Director Dr. Suzy Gulliver.

While many physical resources have been temporarily stopped because of coronavirus, Baylor Scott & White offers virtual visits to veterans and their family.

 “We have this telehealth platform. People are eligible to receive care free of charge. And as I've said it’s all evidence based. We deliver treatment that have known effectiveness. No one gets a placebo no one gets a waitlist. Everyone gets real therapy by skilled practitioners in the comfort of their own home,” said Dr. Gulliver. 

When veteran resources are overwhelmed with too many people, peer supporters are also available to interact with veterans.

“A lot of veterans don’t know sometime where to get help from or the VA is always too overwhelmed. So it’s great to have things like peer support. Other veterans meet other veterans who have already been through a problem or relate to the problem that they went through and can help them get immediate help," said ex-army veteran Markeba Gregory.

As a veteran himself, Gregory says there is no shame in asking for help.  

“Be there for a veteran and show them that it’s not bad to seek help because they're always in kind of tough situations to where the common one is, if I go to therapy or if I go to counseling, that makes me weak then somebody is going to talk about me," said Gregory.

Baylor Scott & White has been using its telehealth platform for three years and is confident in the resources and treatments it offers. 

To learn more about becoming a peer supporter or accessing these resources as a veteran or family member, visit the institute website. 

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